General Surgery is a specialty within the discipline of surgery and requires broad knowledge and skills. General surgical practice is balanced with sub-specialty interests such as colorectal surgery, breast surgery, gastro-intestinal surgery and trauma surgery.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Surgical Education and Training (SET) program requires five to six years of specialist surgical training. Surgical training is “hands on” learning and trainees are closely monitored to ensure that they gain experience in specified procedures.
A General Surgeon is a specialist who provides treatment across a large range of emergency and planned procedures. They focus on the abdominal organs including: the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix, spleen, small and large intestine (bowel), stomach and rectum. They may also operate on the skin, breasts, the thyroid gland and hernias. Surgical removal of the gallbladder and appendix are common elective procedures that can also require an emergency operation.
General Surgeons are trained in emergency surgery. As the first port of call for ill or injured patients they must be able to perform a range of procedures to stabilise the patient.
General Surgeons are proficient in minimally invasive techniques commonly used to repair hernias, remove gallbladders, appendix and colons. They also contribute to training and research.